An Origin Story

I was born a first-generation American

Growing up I would wear shirts like this pretty often.

The picture on the left was taken in Lagos sometime back in the 90s. I'm on the far left with my much cuter cousins. In the picture below, I'm wearing a green shirt that my mom got made for me sometime in my early 20s. It was that green shirt that led to my co-founder, Evan, asking me where I got it, and ultimately forming DIOP.

Wearing something that showed where I was from made me feel special. The problem is that for many people like me, that experience isn't always readily available.

Whenever my mom traveled back to her native Nigeria, she would return with rolls of Ankara: a boldly colored and patterned fabric used throughout West Africa. There were also times she would find small shops in New York City, where I grew up, that sold the imported fabric.

We would then find the right tailor to make shirts that were not only superior quality and comfort, but also connected me to my heritage.

What my mom did wasn't easy; it took a lot of time and money. And she had to do that because clothing brands weren't doing it for her.

Today, DIOP uses the very same Ankara she did back then. Our apparel will always reflect my experience living in the space between my heritage and my lifestyle as a first-generation American.

I hope when you wear DIOP, you feel connected to the truest sense of who you are, whoever that may be.

Cheers,

Mapate Diop

An Origin Story

I was born a first-generation American

Growing up I would wear shirts like this pretty often.

The picture on the below was taken in Lagos sometime back in the 90s -- I'm on the far left with my much cuter cousins. In the picture below that I'm wearing a green shirt that my mom got made for me sometime in my early 20s. It was that green shirt that led to my co-founder, Evan, asking me where I got it, and ultimately forming DIOP.

Wearing something that showed where I was from made me feel special. The problem is that for many people like me, that experience isn't always readily available.

Whenever my mom traveled back to her native Nigeria, she would return with rolls of Ankara: a boldly colored and patterned fabric used throughout West Africa. There were also times she would find small shops in New York City, where I grew up, that sold the imported fabric.

We would then find the right tailor to make shirts that were not only superior quality and comfort, but also connected me to my heritage.

What my mom did wasn't easy; it took a lot of time and money. And she had to do that because clothing brands weren't doing it for her.

Today, DIOP uses the very same Ankara she did back then. Our apparel will always reflect my experience living in the space between my heritage and my lifestyle as a first-generation American.

I hope when you wear DIOP, you feel connected to the truest sense of who you are, whoever that may be.

Cheers,

Mapate Diop